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App State confirms three coronavirus clusters in residence hall and sororities

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

By Sophia Lyons

Appalachian State University confirmed three coronavirus clusters, related to a residence hall and two sororities in emails to students and faculty on Sept. 17 and 18.

Seven students living in Thunder Hill Residence Hall tested positive within the last 14 days. Two of the students are in active isolation, while the other five students are past the isolation stage. The university notified students, faculty and staff, and encouraged students living in Thunder Hill to get tested for the novel coronavirus in an email on Sept. 17.

Nine students associated with the Kappa Delta sorority tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Four are recovering in active isolation, and the other five students have passed the isolation stage. In the Chi Omega sorority, ten students have tested positive in the last 14 days, three are in active isolation, and seven are past isolation. App State sent a notification email about both clusters on Sept. 18.

AppHealthCare and App State identified and confirmed the clusters based on their common links to the residence hall and sororities and the number of confirmed cases in a 14-day period. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services defines a cluster as a minimum of five cases with initial illness onset or positive results within 14 days and "plausible epidemiological linkage."

Public health staff reached out to "all identified close contacts" of those people with positive tests. A close contact is someone who has been within six feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes.

Free drive-up or walk-up testing is available for students, faculty and staff every Saturday in September and October with a valid AppCard. The Sept. 19 testing will be in the Rivers Street Parking Deck from noon to 5 p.m. Appointments are not required.

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